Runway construction contract awarded for Western Sydney International Airport

Airside render of the Western Sydney International Airport.
Airside render of the Western Sydney International Airport. Image: Western Sydney Airport.

CIMIC Group company CPB Contractors, with its joint venture partner Acciona, has been selected to deliver the Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport’s airside civil and pavement works.

The design and construct contract will generate revenue of approximately $265 million to CPB Contractors.

This is the third project awarded by Western Sydney Airport to the joint venture, following the earlier award of two earthworks packages.

Scope of work for the new infrastructure package involves design and construction of the airside services and utilities, including runway and taxiway pavements, aircraft pavement markings, airside roads, surface water drainage, aeronautical ground lighting systems, airside security fence and landscaping for Western Sydney International Airport.

Construction of the 3.7-kilometre runway and rapid-exit taxiways will begin in 2022. Along with the runway and taxiways, airfield construction will include more than 40 kilometres of roads and the installation of 3000 aeronautical ground lights.

Bede Noonan, Acciona’s CEO in Australia and New Zealand, said Acciona’s and CPB’s experiences come together to enable the project’s delivery.

“This award is testament to our strong partnership with CPB, whose experience in delivering Brisbane’s new runway complements our pavements expertise for this job perfectly,” Mr Noonan said.

Western Sydney Airport CEO Simon Hickey said cutting-edge technologies and innovations incorporated in the airfield’s design set “a new benchmark for air travel in Australia.”

“Our airfield’s design means we’ll safely get planes in the air or to the gates faster,” Mr Hickey said.

Once complete the Western Sydney International’s runway will handle the full range of commercial aircraft, including the new generation of ultra-long-haul airliners like the A350-1000 and Boeing 777X.

Construction is ready to begin.

It will be the only airport in Sydney equipped with a modern CAT III-B instrument landing system – that provides short-range guidance to aircraft to allow them to approach a runway at night or in bad weather.

“Western Sydney International will continue operating safely in foggy conditions that currently shut down Sydney’s skies,” Mr Hickey said.

“Our airfield will be future-ready, designed for expansion with consideration for emerging technologies such as electric aircraft.”

Sustainability will be a key focus on the airfield as well as in the terminal, with the efficient design reducing fuel burn and emissions. Lighting will be LED with recycled content used where appropriate for construction.

Crushed sandstone from tunnelling projects across Sydney will be reused as a high-strength foundation to support construction of the runway, taxiways and roads.

CIMIC Group Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Juan Santamaria also noted that CIMIC Group’s aviation expertise would play a part in the project’s delivery.

“Western Sydney International Airport is set to be a catalyst for job creation and growth across the region for decades to come. We are proud to apply CIMIC Group’s aviation expertise and track record in Western Sydney to the construction of this nation building airport infrastructure,” Mr Santamaria said.

CPB Contractors Managing Director Jason Spears promised of job opportunities with the new contract award.

“CPB Contractors will work closely with our client to deliver these aviation facilities for the millions of passengers who will be using the new Western Sydney International Airport. We will leverage our experience in delivering major projects in Western Sydney to maximise training and jobs for local people and economic opportunities for local suppliers,” Mr Spears said.

Airfield construction is expected to create around 1,200 direct jobs and support many more indirect jobs through flow-on benefits to suppliers, subcontractors and the local economy.

Construction of the airside services will take two years. Western Sydney International is on track to open to international, domestic and air cargo services in late 2026.

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